Art within Art: The Careful Compositions of Vermeer
By Dr Richard Stemp
17th February 2021 6pm

Whatever you have read – or whatever films you have seen – we know very little about Johannes Vermeer. He married a Catholic in the predominantly Protestant Dutch Republic, his mother-in-law collected art and he worked as an art dealer. Apart from this, he was a painter – although only 34 paintings are universally accepted as his. He may well have been a slow and careful painter – the extreme order and balance of his compositions suggest that he was, a muted precursor of Mondrian in the 20th Century.

Many of his paintings include visual imagery, whether in the form of paintings hanging on the wall, Delft tiles, maps or on the lids of musical instruments, and these were always chosen for a reason. We will explore these details in many of the accepted works, focussing on the two paintings in the National Gallery in London and the recently restored Girl reading a Letter and an Open Window in Dresden. The remarkable discoveries that have been about the last of these will make it the centrepiece of an exhibition in Dresden later in 2021, which we plan to visit.


We will be using Zoom which many of you may already be very familiar with.  You will be sent an invitation link with your ticket by email as soon as you register and you need only click on this link to join. If you do not already have Zoom you will be promoted to download or launch Zoom. Once you have clicked on this you will join the lecture.

Here is the link if would like to download Zoom in advance Download Zoom
Here is a link to a very short video on how to join How to Join Zoom

Please join 15 minutes earlier at 5.45pm to make sure we are all technically ready. I will be at the end of the phone leading up to and during the lecture for anyone who is having problems.

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